Why Home Inventory Needs to Be on Your Spring Cleaning List

Protecting your property should not stop with the purchase of a good lock, alarm system and/or insurance.  If theft or fire occurred, could you realistically list every valuable possession in your home? Better yet, could you prove those possessions were actually in your home? If the answer is no, it’s important you add home inventory to your spring cleaning list.

The reality is home burglaries occur every day. The FBI reports burglary accounted for 24.1 percent of property crimes in 2011 and resulted in losses estimated at $15.6 billion. If your family is the unfortunate victim of a home burglary, you will need to submit proof of the stolen property to your insurance company. By taking a home inventory of your valuable possessions before a burglary occurs, you will have one less thing to worry about at a time when you feel  violated and vulnerable. Home inventories may also help determine your insurance coverage needs.

Tips for creating and maintaining a home inventory list:

  • Find a home inventory spreadsheet, checklist, or software that fits your budget and preferences.

  • For professional help, BBB has a list of companies to consider. Your insurance company may also offer products/services.

  • Take photos of your possessions and keep them private.

  • Write down the serial numbers of your electronics so you can provide them on a police report, helping law enforcement track down stolen items if they are sold.

  • Keep receipts of large items like electronics, artwork, and jewelry. If you don’t have the original receipts, you may be able to use past credit card statements or return to the retailer for proof of purchase.

  • Keep the home inventory list in a safe place (i.e. use protected software or store in a safe deposit box) so it is not lost, stolen or destroyed.

Has your home ever been burglarized? How do you feel about creating a home inventory list?

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About Felicia N. Thompson

Felicia is Vice President of Communications with BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona. Since joining BBB in 2004, she currently oversees the communications department responsible for media relations, marketing, branding, community outreach, business seminars, website management and social media.